Authored by: Nam Kim
Published on: May 12, 2016
Spring has come!! Colorful flowers and green leaves make us truly happy and bright. Like spring in Seoul, all of your hometowns are expected to be vibrant and warm with cheerful spirit. I hope many members around the world will gather in Ghent and enjoy the joyful festival BioEM2016 at the beginning of June. I’d like to inform you our activities and recent issues in BEMS.
Recently I met Luc Martens in Seoul during his short business trip. He explained the security situations in Belgium, Brussel and Ghent that with new procedures, all people are checked by security officers before entering the buildings in Brussels’ airport, which is very strict and effective countermeasure. It is true, we received several concerned emails about the BioEM2016 conference location since the awful terrorist attacks in Brussels. But most members encouraged and supported us to proceed as planned.
Francesca Apollonio, the BEMS co-chair of the Technical Program Committee (TPC) and other members have finished the latest version of BioEM2016 Technical Program, which is now posted in the BioEM website (http://www.bioem2016.org/program). It includes 5 plenaries, 3 tutorials, 3 WS. The program looks equilibrated on topics with: (6) contributions on safety: exposure assessment, epidemiology, regulatory aspects; (3) on biomedical applications; (2) on advanced techniques for cells exposure or manipulation. About over 300 abstracts have been submitted, reviewed, and organized properly in the Technical Program.
Luc Martens, the chair of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) is preparing the successful BioEM2016 meeting, which will take place in the conference center of Ghent University “Het Pand”. It is a former Dominican monastery, located in the historical center of the city on the banks of the river Lys. The oldest parts of this impressive building date from the 13th century. Ghent is one of the most beautiful historic cities in Europe and has been given many fine names: the historic heart of Flanders; a city of all times; medieval Manhattan; Europe’s best kept secret.
The most important issue in last year’s Annual Business Meeting (ABM) was the motion to 'consider the feasibility of merging BEMS and EBEA into a single society’. With the membership’s approval, the first action was to survey all BEMS member’s views on merger options and the matters, and the survey results can be found on the website (www.bems.org/node/15165). The committee identified and explored two plausible options for a future merged society: one with regional chapters and one without, and has made a number of recommendations on each merger option. There will be a special joint EBEA/BEMS business meeting at BioEM2016 in Ghent, at lunchtime on Thursday, 9 June 2016. This will be an opportunity to discuss the merger document, but there will not be a vote at that time.
To remain the leading society in the field of bioelectromagnetics, the most important thing is to increase our membership numbers. I reinforce the membership renewal system to retain the current members without a lapse and to reinstate membership for inactive (stray, old) BEMS members by sending a soliciting email notice persistently. Also BEMS should contact talented young scientists, and recruit new members from the developing countries. I’d like to continue the Outreach program, which supports candidates from less economically advantageous countries to attend BioEM meetings.
BEMS awards committee (chair Marnus Van Wyk) newly proposed award in the honour of Arthur Pilla who was a friend and colleague of many of us and was well known for his numerous publications in the field, especially relating to pulsed EMF. The Arthur Pilla Young Scientist Award will be presented to the young scientist (Platform or Poster) at the annual BioEM, starting with the BioEM2016 meeting in Ghent.
Regarding to the BEMS Election on the president-elect and the new Board member, we discovered that the bylaws require an election, despite their being only one candidate nominated for each position. I apologize for this error not to recognize the bylaws definitely. The BEMS election opened 10. May, 2016 and will close 31. May, 2016. The election is coordinated by vote-now.com for an email that contains the voting instructions.
By the amendments to the BEMS constitution and bylaws for a new Board structure, I am the first two-year President of BEMS, 2015-2017 and this new structure will be complete by 2016 in place with just five subcommittees (Communications, Nominations, Membership, Finance, and Awards) along with five more joint committees with EBEA (Technical Program, Local Organizing, Meeting Quality, Journal and Inter-Society Liaison). Our Society takes a step forward for a promising future with optimism, with robust stability and with exciting developments.
As you know, next BioEM2017 Meeting will be held at Istanbul, Turkey, a beautiful, historical, and cultural city. Now we need to set up BioEM2018 through the Liaison committee after discussing the proposals. Two excellent proposals for BioEM2018 were submitted from Slovenia and China. The liaison committee will decide in June 2016 to give the TPC and the LOC enough time to prepare BioEM2018.
The current BEMS Board is a wonderful and fantastic team to make BEMS more useful and attractive to all members. During my presidency I do my best to continue and develop widely the activities and reputation of our society.
Looking forward to seeing you soon in Ghent.